WEEKEND EDITION: Red Sox vs Yankees this
afternoon on NESN if the bands are dead....Robert Kraft allegedly
got caught dipping his wick in a massage parlor. Now the Patriot's
haters have Pussy-Gate to bitch about... If true, why would a
billionaire go to a strip mall whore house? I guess his twenty year
old girlfriend can't keep up with the old stud and he had a
hankering for a little Chinese to go......I heard Leo from Berwick,
Maine on 3928, the Bull Net Friendly Bunch, talking about making
"pressure cooker" baked beans. I looked it up and gave it a whirl,
damn, they are good and done in less than one hour. Thanks
Leo!.....50mph winds predicted for Monday, good test for the
Foundations of Amateur Radio #194
More WSPR adventures
Previously I've spoken about the joy of making something out of
not much. On that theme I've covered WSPR, the Weak Signal
Propagation Reporter, a mechanism to use a modest station to
report signals received, which is something any suitably
interested person can participate in, no license required.
For a time I had my radio, a Yaesu FT-857D connected to a
Windows XP notebook running WSJT-X, a piece of software that has
the ability to set the frequency of your radio and then listen
to what the radio is hearing, attempt to decode it and then
report on what was heard.
The beauty of this system is that you're using your own station
to report signals heard, that is, your own antenna, your own
coax, your own radio. Essentially you can use it to see what can
be heard from around the world at your station.
I had this running for a while, but the set-up was less than
satisfactory, because I use the same radio and antenna to run
weekly nets, the computer was running Windows XP and running out
of disk space since WSJT-X has the option to save all the audio
heard, which was clogging up my drive.
It also meant that I was required to remember that I needed to
reset the volume of the radio, set the squelch just so,
disconnect and more importantly reconnect the antenna when there
were storms about and a few other annoyances that became just a
little too much for it to be fun.
After doing this for a couple of months I just gave up and put
it into the too-hard basket.
The other day I started afresh.
I started with a Raspberry Pi. It's a single board computer,
about the size of a credit card, that comes in at about $30, is
powered off a USB adaptor and runs Linux. Since I've been using
Linux for around 20 years now, it seemed like a natural fit. I
managed to obtain an RTL-SDR dongle which if you're not
familiar, is essentially a USB device that you can use to listen
to RF frequencies. Without going too deep, these gadgets started
life as USB DVB-T and FM receivers, you know the USB dongles
that you can plug into your computer to watch free-to-air TV or
listen to FM radio.
Back in March of 2010 Eric Fry got curious about figuring out if
he could make a Linux version for one of the dongles work by
reverse engineering the communication between the dongle and the
supplied Windows software. In 2012 Antti Palosaari built on that
and published his findings on the linux-media mailing list.
Things exploded from there.
So, an RTL-SDR dongle, connected to a Raspberry Pi, running
At this point it would be great if I could report success and
show and tell everything I've learnt, but then for that to
happen I would need to actually have had success and I'm not
quite there yet.
I managed to decode one, count 'em, one, WSPR packet on 6m,
Of course I couldn't help myself and started to improve things
and since then I've not heard anything.
I can tell you that there is plenty of documentation online
about the subject, and I'll be adding my version of that once
I've got mine up and running.
There's a few things to work on, for example, listening on 6m is
all fine and well, as long as there are 6m stations within
hearing that are on and transmitting. Turns out that the station
that I heard once last weekend has been switched off for a week.
I've just changed bands, to see if that improves things, but
only time will tell. I have also been using a mechanism to
change bands automatically every 15 minutes, but without any
spots I'm not sure if my set-up is working or not and I've just
been unlucky not to hear anything.
The challenges continue, but then I suppose that's why I'm here
in the first place. I will add that a problem shared is a
problem halved. I mentioned my challenge to a local amateur who
sprang into action and set-up a WSPR beacon, just so I can test
against it. I'll let you know how I go, or you can monitor for
my spots on the WSPR website and celebrate when you see a spot
with my callsign on it, because I will be, celebrating that is.
As an aside, it continues to surprise me that this hobby has its
fingers in so many different pies and my chosen profession of IT
Geek is just another aspect of amateur radio.
Newsline Report - a rehash of last weeks news
SOLO YL AT SEA IS WELL ON HER WAY
PAUL/ANCHOR: As we begin this week's report, we find ourselves back
on the ocean journey of a record-setting Canadian YL who is sailing
around the world with her amateur radio. Graham Kemp VK4BB has been
following her story as she approaches his part of the world.
GRAHAM: Jeanne Socrates VE-ZERO-JS (VE0JS) is crossing time zones
and setting records. Amateur Radio Newsline caught up with Jeanne
back in our report last November as the 76-year old retired
mathematics teacher was partways through her solo sail around the
world aboard her yacht the S/V Nereida (Nuh-RIDA). Jeanne had left
her home in Canada one month earlier to begin her global sail. It's
not her first -- she is already the oldest woman to sail solo,
nonstop unassisted around the world. When she completes her journey,
as she hopes to do this year, that hoped-for homecoming in Victoria
will make her the oldest person of either gender to accomplish the
journey solo. Back in November, she was north of Ducie Island when
Newsline spoke with her on the air with the help of a Skype phone
patch. As of the middle of this month, she was past Cape Horn and
Cape Agulhas and aiming in the direction of Australia and New
Jeanne is keeping in good contact with other hams on the radio -
including recent QSOs with some in South Africa and on the West
Coast of the United States. She is also uploading posts to her blog,
svnereida dot com (svnereida.com/blog).
On her post of Friday the 15th of February she noted she had sailed,
not surprisingly, into the next time zone. With luck, at the end of
her journey of many months, she will also sail into history.
FCC REMINDS ELECTRONICS RETAILERS OF NEW COMPLIANCE RULES
PAUL/ANCHOR: In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission's
Enforcement Bureau has reminded electronics retailers that as of the
15th of February there are new compliance requirements for devices
known as "unintentional radiators." These are defined as devices
that transmit RF signals not used for any communications purposes.
The agency's announcement puts retailers on notice that it is now
enforcing what is known as Supplier's Declaration of Conformity
procedures and is also requiring certification.
The FCC notes that devices subject to the Supplier's Declaration
include "equipment that does not contain a radio transmitter and
contains only digital circuitry — such as computer peripherals,
microwave ovens, Industrial, Scientific, and Medical equipment,
switching power supplies, LED light bulbs, radio receivers, and TV
interface devices.” The agency noted that if equipment contains both
types of radiators, the unintentional radiator needs to be
authorized under either SDoC or certification and the intentional
radiators such as transmitters, require certification.
The FCC has also advised makers of signs containing LED illumination
that they need to comply with FCC rules, reminding them that LED
sign panels are subject to a Supplier's Declaration of Conformity.
SILENT KEYS: 'ANDY' ANDERSON K7GEX AND TIM ARMAGOST WB0TUB
PAUL/ANCHOR: The ham radio community lost two of its longtime
members, amateurs whose hard work leaves a lasting legacy. We begin
with the story of 'Andy' Anderson as told by Kent Peterson KC-ZERO-DGY.
KENT: In Washington state, Herbert "Andy" Anderson K7GEX has become
a Silent Key. Andy was a strong proponent of Latvian amateur radio
activity and was present at every World Radiosport Team
Championship, attending primarily to coach and encourage the teams
who had come from Latvia. A life member of the ARRL, he was credited
with having founded the Latvians Worldwide Roundtable Net and was
considered the "godfather" of the Latvian Amateur Radio League
according to his friend Andy Neimers VA7FJT. Andy Neimers told the
ARRL that in the early 1990s, Andy Anderson helped the Latvian
league evolve by sending thousands in funding to purchase all sorts
of equipment for the league's amateurs. There is even a 2-meter
repeater in one Latvian province that bears his name.
He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served as a Green Beret
after enlisting in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He had come to the
U.S. as a political refugee while still a youngster.
Andy Anderson K7GEX died on the 5th of February following a lengthy
illness. He was 84.
WIA SEEKS PAPERS FOR CONFERENCE PRESENTATION
PAUL/ANCHOR: The national conference of the Wireless Institute of
Australia is still months away but if you're among those hoping to
present a technical session there, you only have a few days left to
submit papers. John Williams VK4JJW tells what you need to do.
JOHN: If you're looking to present on a topic at the Wireless
Institute of Australia's National Conference in May, you have until
March 1st to submit your abstract. The organising committee has
asked that the papers contain 200 words or less, describing what the
technical session would cover in the 30 minutes allotted. The
technical presentations are scheduled to be held on the 25th of May
following the annual general meeting and after lunch. Organisers are
also hoping to review two additional papers for a presentation to
take place at the Amateur Radio New South Wales field day to be held
in Dural on the 26th of May. All abstracts submitted for either
event should use a template available on the Abstract/Call for
Papers form 2019 available on the WIA website. They should be
emailed to email@example.com. Presenter and author details
should be included. Presenters who are chosen will be notified by
BRITISH YLS SEND INVITATION TO YEAR-LONG PARTY
PAUL/ANCHOR: British YLs have a lot of celebrating going on this
year and they're looking for some company for an on-air party.
Jeremy Boot G4NJH has the details on how to send an RSVP and book
JEREMY: You only turn 40 once in a lifetime and so members of the
British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association, or BYLARA, are
inviting YLs to sign up for a year-long party. BYLARA members are
marking their 40th anniversary with a special event station and have
asked all interested operators to contact BYLARA and also to file
the OFW 287 document -- Notice of variation for a special event call
sign -- with Ofcom. You can find the document at ofcom dot org dot
uk (ofcom.org.uk). Search for it by name.
To participate in the special event, YLs must be a full licence
holder or have a partner or husband who has a full call and plans to
be present while the YL is on the air. The Ofcom document must be
filed at least a month before your planned date of operation. Email
the form to spectrum dot licencing at ofcom dot org dot uk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CINCINNATI AMATEURS PREP FOR MAKER FAIRE
PAUL/ANCHOR: Skill and inventiveness in the fields of engineering
and science are the hallmarks of the modern maker fairs and there's
one coming soon to Cincinnati, Ohio. Jack Prindle AB4WS filed this
report for the Amateur News Weekly podcast and we share it here.
JACK: The Cincinnati Mini-Maker Faire has announced the 2019 date.
The Faire returns to the Cincinnati Museum Center at the restored
Cincinnati Union Terminal for one day only on Saturday April 13 from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The OH-KY-IN amateur Radio Society hosted a booth
last year and was very successful. if you are interested in
volunteering to man the booth please contact Cesi at kd8oob at gmail
Covering your Amateur Radio News in the Greater Cincinnati Area and
the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this is Jack Prindle AB4WS normally in
Big Bone Kentucky by tuning in this week from sunny Clearwater
OSCAR SATELLITE SUCCESS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN AMATEURS
PAUL/ANCHOR: Imagine the excitement of a receiving signals from the
first geostationary amateur radio satellite. Well, there's a ham in
South Africa who didn't use his imagination -- just his rig. Jason
Daniels VK2LAW tells his story.
JASON: The Qatar (KAT-R) OSCAR 100 transponders on-board the Es'hail
(S-HAIL) Two satellite create the first geostationary amateur radio
satellite and is covering the Middle East, Europe and Africa and
indeed there's one ham in South Africa who is mighty glad for that:
Rickus de Lange ZS4A is credited with being the nation's first
amateur radio station to monitor QSOs on the OSCAR 100 after his
dish received the satellite's signals on the 13th of February, on
the eve of its official Feb. 14 inauguration. The satellite became
available for amateur use on an experimental basis on the 12th of
Rickus told Newsline in an email: [quote] "What an experience it
was, eventually running around in the rain at night to quickly put
up the Dish on a Tripod and getting it aimed correctly." [endquote]
He had received the LNB as a gift from his friend Leon ZED-S-ONE-MM
and Leon had converted it to a lower Local Oscillator frequency.
Rickus told us [quote] "I started playing with it and searching for
the Engineering beacon for 2 weeks but with no luck." He told
Newsline that contributing to the lack of initial success was the
fact that he was unaware the first dish was an offset-fed one too.
But he was encouraged. He said: [quote] "The first signals that I
could hear on the WebSDR was the kick in the backside that
encouraged me further to put more effort in." [endquote] He switched
to a normal DSTV Offset 60cm Dish and from inside his shack, where
his laptop was using an SDR dongle, he could see the signals on the
waterfall and hear the SSB signals clearly.
That's when he ran outside in the rain and put up the station
outside. He said it felt great hearing hams operating out of Europe
and surrounding countries instead of just hearing OSCARS flying
past. Two days later Rickus and Leon shared another "first" - Leon
called him in CW, becoming the first ZS station to transmit over the
Rickus said [quote] "This is a fantastic Bird that they have put up
and this will help a lot of hams to be able to DX on UHF which is
otherwise only possible via EME and not so easy to do." [endquote]
We think Rickus speaks for many hams who welcome OSCAR 100 to the
HAMS SIMULATE CYCLONE RESPONSE IN INDIA
PAUL/ANCHOR: Hams in India spent two days recently preparing for the
cyclone they hope will never come. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF shares this
JIM: The gathering of hams in the Indian state of Odisha was part
Field Day and part amateur radio camp. Members of the Amateur Radio
Society of Odisha spent two days on an uninhabited island
unreachable by conventional communications and simulated a scenario
of natural disaster. The exercise on February 16th and 17th was
designed to sharpen the operators' readiness in case of such
calamaties as cyclones, which are not uncommon in that region.
The drill did not go unnoticed by public officials. Officials from
the Puri district administration visited the island to observe the
hams in action. They had a stake in the outcome of the exercise too:
During Cyclone Titli in October of last year, Gajapati district was
cut-off from the outside world for a few hours but communications
stayed intact because of ham radio.
Meanwhile, the hams had a very proud showing by the end of the
exercise on Sunday evening. Using solar power and their radios, the
eight operators were able to contact 130 hams - many from elsewhere
in India but also in Denmark, Russia, Australia, Thailand and
WORLD OF DX
In the World of DX, amateurs in Turkey are using the special call
sign TC10GITRAD to mark the 10th anniversary of the radio group
GITRAD. They are on the air all year through the 31st of December.
The log will be uploaded to eqsl and LoTW regularly. For any mis-copied
callsigns, please send an e-mail to TA7AZC. No cards are required.
However, if you need a paper QSL card please mail yours directly to
TA7AZC and include a stamped self-addressed envelope and money for
Jean, VE2FDJ, is using the call sign 5J0JC from Providencia Island,
Colombia, through the 27th of February. Listen on 80/40/20/6 meters
for him using SSB. QSL via VE2FDJ, direct or by the Bureau.
Kazu, JK3GAD, will be on the air as MJ0CFW from Jersey between the
15th and 17th of March and especially during the Russian DX Contest
on the 16th and 17th of March. In that contest, listen for him using
the call sign MJ5Z. QSL via LoTW, M0CFW or via ClubLog's OQRS.
KICKER: NOMINATIONS OPENING FOR NEWSLINE'S 'YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR'
PAUL/ANCHOR: Finally, remembering the great pride the late Bill
Pasternak WA6ITF took in talented young amateurs, we open the
nomination period once more for Young Ham of the Year. Here's Don
DON: For those of us on the Newsline staff the months of March,
April and May are filled with anticipation. March 1st is the day the
nominating period for the Young Ham Of the Year award, renamed
several years ago as the Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Amateur Radio
Newsline Young Ham Of The year Award to honor Newsline's late
founder. Quite the mouthful, so we just call it "YHOTY" or Y-Hottie
Bill Pasternak was a fanatic for education and getting kids involved
in ham radio. I suppose you could say Bill was into STEM before STEM
was cool. STEM, of course, refers to Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics. Way back in 1986 a young amateur from
Oklahoma, Shawn Allen Wakefield, WK5P, was named our first YHOTY.
Since then it has been a 33-year line of one incredible young ham
after another, each one more amazing than the one before.
The premise of the Young Ham Of The Year award is simple: Radio
amateurs under the age of 18 residing in the United States, its
possessions and Canada are eligible. The young radio amateur has to
have done something extraordinary with amateur radio to further the
state of the art, or in service to the community. Other than that,
it's wide open. Past winners have been recognized for running nets
during forest fires and tornado outbreaks, training astronauts how
to use amateur radio equipment for school contacts, launching the
mailing tube that contained an acceptance letter from MIT to over
90,000 feet with a helium balloon, documenting the construction,
launch and recovery via a YouTube video, setting up a personal
DXpedition to Cypress then writing a QST cover article on the
experience, manning a shelter during Hurricane Andrew and keeping
everyone safe when the roof blew off. The list of achievements is as
varied as the recipients. To say we are humbled by our Young Hams Of
The Year is truly an understatement.
So on March 1st we will open nominations again in anticipation of
the award ceremony to be held at the Huntsville, AL hamfest on
August 18th. The Huntsville Hamfest has been the home of the award
since 1993. If you have not attended the Huntsville Hamfest you
really are missing out on a great one. Arguably one of the top 5
hamfests in the United States, the venue is truly top notch and the
hospitality is off the scale. To find out more about the Huntsville
Hamfest please visit their website. It's easy to remember...
So, you know of a deserving young radio amateur and you want to know
more about the nomination process? That's easy as well. Go to our
website, arnewsline.org and look for the YHOTY tab. There you'll
find all you need to know including a downloadable nominating form.
Fill it out and get it back to us before midnight on May 31st.
We are excited to see the nominations come in and believe me, the
nomination committee always has their hands full. We would also like
to recognize and thank our corporate sponsors for all their
assistance. CQ Publishing, Yaesu, Heil Sound and RadioWavz antennas.
Of course, our thanks to the Huntsville Hamfest for letting us have
a home for the last 26 years. And we would like to thank you, our
listeners. Without you we could not have a Young Ham Of The Year
award. And of course, Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF. We continue to do our
best to follow along in his footsteps and we share his passion for
youth in amateur radio. The next generation is waiting in the wings
and we are honored to be but the first to welcome them in.
TGIF EDITION: Is it March yet?...I had
trouble with the server at GoDaddy that hosts this site. It was a
problem on their end and they casually mentioned the servers were
old and they were going to call me when they "migrate" the files to
the new server. They said I would be charged $100 for the move...WTF....I
said let me get this straight, your servers are old and you are
replacing them with new hard drives and you want to charge me to
move the files to the new server. I was offered half price if I paid
now. Looks like I will be shopping for a new host. The greed
involved by everyone in business today is staggering...I'm glad I
have a hobby and don't have to run around cutting down
cactus trees........this procedure might
Atmospheric radiation update:
Cosmic rays continue to increase
New data released by the Earth to Sky Calculus/Spaceweather.com
high-altitude ballooning program show that atmospheric cosmic
rays are intensifying for the 4th year in a row--an ironic
side-effect of the decaying solar cycle.
The new results are of interest to everyone from astronauts
to air travelers.
Get the full story on today's edition of
Golden Globe Race: Penalty given
for ham radio use
My Sailing reports a sailor in the Golden Globe around
the world race has been given a penalty after using amateur radio to
ask for weather routing information
The site says:
Third placed Estonian skipper Uku Randmaa has
escaped disqualification from the Golden Globe race after breaching
the strict rules forbidding outside assistance, but has been handed
a 72-hour penalty for asking and receiving weather routing
information during radio contact with a Ham radio operator.
A 16-minute recording of the radio communication was received at
Race HQ yesterday (19th February). The first five minutes covers a
legitimate publicly available weather information, but at -9:15,
Randmaa asks: “I have a question…How can I say it… I’m heading 90°.
Can I be sure that I can take the wind if I’m sailing east?"
Race Chairman Don McIntyre explained: “This is a retro race with
skippers restricted to using a sextant, paper charts and wind-up
chronometers just as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston used in the first
Sunday Times Golden Globe Race 50 years ago. All digital equipment
is banned, including sat phones and GPS. Skippers can only
communicate via Single Side Band (SSB) radios and amateur Ham radio
net, which the whole world can listen in to if they wish.
Read the full story at
World JOTA-JOTI 2018 Report
With a goal of increasing JOTA-JOTI
participation to three million, what were the numbers for 2018?
But as importantly, how were Scouts engaged in the largest
annual Scouting event in the world?
All these questions and more are addressed in the World JOTA-JOTI
You can find the 2018 report (along with all the previous
Direct link to PDF
THURSDAY EDITION: Joe- K1JEK had successful
surgery yesterday and will be home today and probably will be on his
radio this afternoon on 3928...we received about 2 inches of sludge
last night, wet and heavy snow.....3860 is a nasty frequency, a
spinoff of the nuts on 7200. ....3910 is still alive and well early
evenings. Dick has changed his call back to K1DPM again, Warren is
alive and well, and Paul is still pounding down skull splitters and
appears to be in competition with Warren for creative use of four
letter words. This group is not boring.....
|3919 FRIENDLY BUNCH UPDATE: Not much happening
with this never ending rag chew net which meets 7 days a
week from 6-11pm led by leader, Virginian Bobby ( I'm #1 and
the proud founder)- KB4ABJ and the frequency enforcer big
John- AC8IE from Ohio. You can expect a nightly prayer from
a wacko Canadian named Sam- VE3ZSZ. Please go to
QRZ.com and check this lunatic out. ....You will hear
Kyle-KE8COQ, with his slow West Virginia whiny drawl,
constantly mouth off and calling Bobby over and over. Last
night he finally caused enough shit to get told off and
warned to shape up or ship out.....You will hear high schooler Connor spend the night with this pack of old men
whine about blowing up one radio after another. His latest
adventure was blowing up his newly acquired SB200
amplifier......and of course everyone id'ing every ten
minutes singing out- "Number 1, W1XXX with the Friendly
Bunch" in two part harmony. Although there is supposed to be
several net control ops, Bobby and Big John constantly break
in to get that all important number of check ins and
how many have a Friendly Bunch number....over and over it
goes....the rag chew net with nothing ever talked
about....and still like needy little birds, an abundance of
hams pleading to get that coveted Friendly Bunch number and
be a part of this group. A quite amusing phenomena.
Remember you have to check in after 9pm over 300 times to be
considered to receive the hallowed Friendly Bunch official
number....Bobby promises that big things are coming!
NASA to provide coverage of
SpaceX commercial crew flight test
NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch
activities for the SpaceX Demo-1 flight test to the International
Space Station for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which is
working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on
American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first
time since 2011.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting 2:48 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2,
for the launch of the company’s uncrewed Demo-1 flight, which will
be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket
and spacecraft designed for humans will launch to the space station.
The launch, as well as other activities leading up to the launch,
will air on NASA Television and the agency’s
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9
rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space
station at approximately 5:55 a.m. Sunday, March 3.
This will be the first uncrewed flight test of NASA’s Commercial
Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon
9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as
in-orbit, docking and landing operations.
The flight test also will provide valuable data toward NASA
certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for carrying
astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX’s Demo-2 test
flight, which will fly NASA astronauts to the space station, is
targeted to launch in July.
Following each flight, NASA will review performance data to
ensure each upcoming mission is as safe as possible. After
completion of all test flights, NASA will continue its review of the
systems and flight data for certification ahead of the start of
regular crewed flights to the space station.
Full Demo-1 coverage is as follows. All times are EST:
Friday, Feb. 22
- (no earlier than) 6 p.m. – Post-flight readiness review
briefing at Kennedy, with the following representatives:
- William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator,
NASA Human Exploration and Operations
- Kathy Lueders, manager, NASA Commercial Crew
- Kirk Shireman, manager, International Space
- Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and
Flight Reliability, SpaceX
- Astronaut Office representative
Thursday, Feb. 28
- TBD – Pre-launch briefing at Kennedy, with the following
- Kathy Lueders, manager, NASA Commercial Crew
- Kirk Shireman, manager, International Space
- SpaceX representative
- Astronaut Office representative
Saturday, March 2
- 2 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins for the 2:48 a.m.
- 5 a.m. – Post-launch news conference at Kennedy, with the
- Steve Stich, NASA launch manager, NASA
Commercial Crew Program
- Kirk Shireman, manager, International Space
- SpaceX representative
- Astronaut Office representative
Sunday, March 3
- 3:30 a.m. – Rendezvous and docking coverage
- 8:45 a.m. – Hatch opening coverage
- 10:30 a.m. – Station crew welcoming ceremony
Friday, March 8
- 12:15 a.m. – Hatch closing coverage begins
- 2:30 a.m. – Undocking coverage begins
- 7:30 a.m. – Deorbit and landing coverage
- TBD – Post-landing briefing on NASA TV, location TBD, with
the following representatives:
- Steve Stich, deputy manager, NASA Commercial
- International Space Station Program
- SpaceX representative
- Astronaut Office representative
For more information on event coverage, go to:
ARRL adds JO-97, FO-99, QO-100 to
LoTW configuration file
The ARRL has released version 11.7 of the Logbook of the
World configuration file adding the ability to confirm QSOs
made through JO-97, FO-99, and QO-100 via LoTW.
LoTW users should receive a prompt to update their configuration
file when opening recent versions of TQSL. The file can also be
WEDNESDAY EDITION: I updated the firmware
and dsp in my Yaesu FTM400XDR yesterday. A somewhat weird procedure
of having to take off the cover and flip a boot switch and then
download the new firmware. When the download is complete another
procedure for the DSP upgrade, at any rate, it is done. I guess I
can buy an expensive Yaesu cable and connect to my computer and get
on Wireless X or something now...I don't as I have a digital hotspot
in the house for DMR and Fusion communication....
shed radio DJ visits Radio Caroline
A shed-based DJ, whose interest in radio
was sparked by pirate station
Radio Caroline, has had his "dream come true" by visiting the
ship it broadcasts from.
Deke Duncan, 73, was given his own one-hour
special on BBC local radio last year after broadcasting to just his
wife for more than 40 years.
The station took him to the ship off the coast of Essex at the
"This is the climax of my life," he said during the visit.
Mr Duncan started playing records from his back garden in
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in 1974 and set up Radio 77 - named after
a job-lot of second hand jingles bought from a US station of the
But with no licence, the station could only be beamed through a
speaker in his living room to wife Teresa.
He presented non-stop weekend slots on the station with friends,
broadcasting from - and to - 57 Gonville Crescent.
Red the full BBC News story
500 years of foundation of Panama
Dear fellow ham,
The special callsign H31A is being used to
commemorate 500 years of the foundation of Panama City, PANAMA. The
station will be available until August 15th 2019.
We will be operating on 80 m to 10 m specially in digital modes (RTTY,
PSK31 and FT8) and some SSB.
This Sunday, February 24 from 14:00 to 22:00 UTC we will be
operating on a Field Day using the special callsign
H31A. We will operate from 40m to 10m on phone and
ITU WRC-19 Conference Prep
ARRL report the second Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) in
advance of World Radio Communication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) this
fall got under way on February 18 at International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva
Delegates from around the world are attending.
This CPM will prepare a consolidated report that will support of the
work of WRC-19, based on contributions from various administrations,
study groups, and other sources concerning the regulatory,
technical, operational, and procedural matters, and the inclusion of
reconciled differences or of differing views and their
Agenda items affecting Amateur Radio include the harmonization of
the 50-MHz amateur allocation, 5G in the 47-GHz band (Amateur Radio
has an allocation at 47.0 – 47.2 GHz in the US) and elsewhere, and
studies concerning Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) for electric
vehicles to assess the impact of WPT for electric vehicles on
radiocommunication services and to study suitable harmonized
frequency ranges which would minimize the impact on
radiocommunication services from WPT for electrical vehicles.
New Plan Aligns ARES with the Needs of
The new ARES
adopted by the ARRL Board of Directors at its
Annual Meeting in January represents an effort to provide ARES
with a clearly defined mission, goals, and objectives; specific
training requirements, and a system for consistent reporting and
record-keeping. The Board’s Public Service Enhancement Working
Group (PSEWG) spent more than 3 years crafting the ARES Plan
which, ARRL officials believe, provides a much-needed update of
the program’s role in public service and emergency preparedness
in the 21st century. Concerns focused on bringing ARES into
alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
and Incident Command System (ICS), and creating more consistent
and standardized ARES training requirements. Given dramatic
changes and upgrades in national, regional, and local emergency
and disaster response organizations, ARRL faced a major
challenge, said ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale
Williams, WA8EFK, who chaired the PSEWG.
“If we didn’t address these issues, such as training
standards and organizational management, ARES faced the very
real possibility that it would no longer be viewed as a valid
and valuable partner in emergency and disaster relief
situations,” Williams said.
With input from ARES members and a peer review team, and the
assistance of emergency response officials with some partner
organizations, the PSEWG came up with a plan that provides
guidelines to ensure that ARES remains a service of organized,
trained, qualified, and credentialed Amateur Radio volunteers
who can provide public service partners with radio communication
expertise, capability, and capacity, Williams added.
A drafted ARES Plan was circulated among ARRL Section
Managers (SMs) and Section Emergency Coordinators (ECs) to
gather feedback. During the comment period from August through
October 2018, the PSEWG heard from 55 ARRL Sections,
representing 40 states — more than 125 pages of feedback in all.
The PSEWG expressed appreciation to all who submitted comments
The PSEWG reviewed every comment and suggestion, identifying
about a dozen key items commonly cited by those in the Field
Organization to improve the plan.
Based on input from ARES participants, the training
requirements in the final ARES Plan consist of the free FEMA
Professional Development Series. The series comprises these
independent study (IS) courses: 120.c, 230.d, 235.c, 240.d,
241.b, 242.b, and 244.b (as they may be amended), as well as the
ARRL’s EC-001 and EC-016 emergency communication courses. As
part of adopting the ARES Plan, the ARRL Board approved a
proposal to make the ARRL EC courses free for ARES members.
The plan highlights some additional training programs that
ARES participants are encouraged to consider taking, but that
are not required, such as AUXCOMM and training courses like
ICS-300 and ICS-400.
The ARES Plan outlines a three-tiered membership structure
based on increased responsibility levels and accompanying
training requirements. Although the tiers are not a required
path, they serve to define three distinct ways to participate in
the ARES program; it’s up to the participant to determine his or
her level of involvement.
The ARES Plan points out that public service events such as
parades and marathons are within the realm of ARES activity and
are, in fact, a key part of it, because such events are an
integral part of effective training.
In recognizing the local and regional nature of emergency
communication needs in disaster response activations, the Plan
notes that training requirements are ultimately the
responsibility of the Section Manager, with each SM approving
training for local ARES teams, as local conditions and needs
The ARES Plan also highlights the relationship between ARES
and the National Traffic System (NTS). The PSEWG indicated that
it will continue moving forward with efforts to find ways to
refine and strengthen that relationship.
While the intent of the ARES Plan is to align the ARES
organizational structure with the NIMS and ICS systems, Williams
noted that, within the ARES structure, the Emergency Coordinator
(EC) will continue to lead the ARES team locally during an
incident, while the District and Section Emergency Coordinators
will continue to serve as resources and support for the EC. (The
emergency preparedness staff at ARRL is in the process of
updating the EC manual.) The ARES Plan stresses that ARES
participants are not first responders, and it encourages ARES
leaders to develop and grow their group’s partnerships with
state emergency management agencies and officials. Williams said
the adoption of the ARES Plan is not the end of this process.
“ARES cannot remain stagnant only to be updated once every
few generations,” he said. “The ARES Plan, and the ARES program,
must be able to evolve.” Williams added that the ARRL
Headquarters emergency preparedness staff will review the
program annually to ensure its continued relevance.
TUESDAY EDITION: It looks like I need to do a little snow removal
in the driveway, 3-4 inches of powdery stuff....
Amateur Radio is Aboard during Attempt to
Become Oldest Circumnavigator
Jeanne Socrates, VE0JS/KC2IOV, is used to solitude. The lone
76-year-old yachtswoman passed the southern tip of Africa — some
300 miles to the north — on Valentine’s Day as she forged on
toward Australia and New Zealand in her 38-foot sailing vessel
. While underway, Socrates keeps in touch with a
community of friends via Amateur Radio — although she had to
yield to the ARRL International DX CW activity over the weekend
— and she’s sticking to a schedule of 7.160 MHz at 0230 UTC
daily. Socrates reported making contact with some ham radio
friends on the US west coast on February 17. She’s been
The retired math teacher and UK native also is
no stranger to circumnavigating the globe, having already become
the oldest woman to do complete a solo, non-stop, unassisted
round-the-world voyage. Ham radio served as her link to terra
firm during her earlier adventures. Since 2013, she’s made two
additional attempts to become the oldest person to
circumnavigate Earth, the goal she’s now attempting to achieve.
She departed Vancouver, British Columbia, last October.
Socrates is working around a damaged mainsail. “We seem to be
having many more days of light wind giving slow speed, than
stronger wind giving good speed — need a wind of well over 15
knots and, preferably, for us to be headed downwind. Any upwind
travel immediately gives poor boat speed — that’s when the
damaged mainsail is badly missed,” she recounted in a recent
blog entry. She’s been using the vessel’s trisail — typically
used for high-wind conditions — because the Nereida’s mainsail
repair was showing signs that it might not hold up in the wind.
Socrates reports that she will continue to work on the mainsail
as time permits. — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News
for some information
XX9D in Macau: And You Think Your Noise
Problem is Bad
The group that’s been activating Macau as
for the past week or so reports its biggest challenge is not so
much managing the pileups but hearing
the pileups in the
first place due to high noise levels. Nonetheless, the group has
managed some 18,000 contacts on 160 through 6 meters, and the
operators credit FT8 with making many of those possible.
“All team members are a little bit disappointed about the
high noise level here on all bands,” the XX9D team reported on
February 18. Levels are mostly around S-7 – 9. It seems that
this is man-made noise, which is about 10 dB stronger between 5
PM and 7 AM. You might imagine what problems we have to identify
call signs under these lousy circumstances, which we are not
able to solve. So, we have to lower our expectations.”
The XX9D team also echoed the sentiments of other
DXpeditioners regarding the behavior of those trying to work the
93rd most-wanted DXCC entity (according to Club Log).
“We got fair reports from all parts of the world,” the XX9D
group said in an update on its website. “But it must be hard for
the callers to break through the noise wall on our side. Many
callers wonder that they don’t through even with a kW. But when
90 % of all callers transmit exactly 1 kHz up on CW, it is
impossible for us to read anything. Bad comments don’t help.
It’s more a question of bad practice.”
The limited-space antennas are installed above the eighth
story of a resort hotel, so the noise level was no real
surprise, although it’s far worse than during the 2014 XX9D
DXpedition. On 160, 80, and 40 meters, XX9D is using wire
verticals with elevated radials. The 30-meter antenna is a delta
loop, and on 20 – 10 meters, the antenna is a wire beam. No
receive antennas are possible.
Conditions at or near the low point of the current sunspot
cycle aren’t helping either. “We are working hard to get as many
as possible callers in the log. Because of the lousy conditions
we work much more in FT8,” the 15-person mostly German team
The XX9D operators predict that activating Macau on the lower
bands will be an even greater challenge in the future.
On 160, the operators may only transmit from 1,800 to 1,825
kHz, so they tried FT8 on 1,815 kHz with stations asked to
transmit higher in the band (1,840/1,908 kHz). “From time to
time we have our CQ beacon on 50.105 kHz on CW or 50.313 kHz on
FT8 active and asks for
listener reports (no log inquiries).
The XX9D operation from Grand Colane Resort is scheduled to
continue until February 26. This operation is being called XX9D
the Second. The same operators also activated the resort as XX9D
in February of 2017.
Antarctic Activity Week is Under Way
Antarctic Activity Week (AAW
2019 is under way until February 24, with special call signs on
the air. The goal of the event is to promote interest in
Antarctica, where many countries have established research
Some of the call signs to listen for are:
Australia, VK2ANT; Austria, OE16AAW, OE88WAP, OE89ANT, and
OE90AAW; Belgium, OR16ANT; France, TM16AAW, TM16WAP, and TM1ANT;
Italy, II2ANT, II5ANT, IO5SP, IR18AAW, IR1ANT, IR4ANT, and
IV3BOVE; The Netherlands, PA6ANT and PF19ANT; Poland, SP0ANT;
Spain, AO1WAP, Ukraine, EM16UAP, and US, K4A, K4K, and KB0ANT.
— Thanks to The
Federal Government responds to
The Left's EMC question
The German political party The Left (Die Linke)
raised the issue of the Electromagnetic pollution caused by consumer
devices such as switched-mode PSU's and LED lighting
A Google translation on a DARC report reads:
In the printed matter 19/7649, the Federal Government has published
the answer to the question from the group Die Linke [The Left] on
the subject of "Exposure of the electromagnetic environment to
electrical equipment". The answer is available as a PDF file under
the following link:
The DARC previously reported in its media on the Inquiry, on the
DARC portal at
Among other things, the Federal Government addresses the question of
which standards are used as the basis for the assessment of noise
levels in the electromagnetic environment for decisions of
proportionality in accordance with § 27 (3) EMVG.
Ham radio operators put their
hobby to the test
Members of the Amateur Radio Society of Odisha
got together at an uninhabited island within the Chilika lake to
test their operational skill and technology to help the public
during natural calamities such as cyclonic storms
The Hindu newspaper reports:
The team had chosen this island as it is inaccessible by
conventional telecommunication network.
During their two-day camp at the island that ended on Sunday
evening, eight licensed private HAM radio operators of Odisha
experimented transmission of messages to the outside world through
It was an attempt to simulate real-life situation during any natural
calamity when all conventional modes of communication cease to
“To simulate such a situation, we remained cut-off from the outside
world for two days and used solar power to operate our HAM radios. A
bamboo pole was used as an antenna tower,” said Gurudatta Panda, one
of the participants.
Amateur radio operators can link up with other HAM enthusiasts
through ‘short wave’ radio frequency.
During the event, these operators, despite their lack of
infrastructure, managed to contact around 130 Amateur radio
operators around the world.
Around 90 of these were from different parts of India while others
were from countries including Denmark, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand
On Sunday morning they made contacts with HAM enthusiasts of
neighbouring countries except Pakistan.
According to ARSO members, the importance of HAM radios during
natural calamities has not diminished in this era of advanced
According to them, during the Titli cyclone, Gajapati district was
completely cut-off from the outside world for a few hours. During
that time HAM radio with the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force
became the main means of communication of the district
administration with the outside world.
Read the full story at
MONDAY EDITION: Snowing here on Cape Ann at 6AM with about 2
inches of fluff on the steps...A good time was had by K1JEK and
W1GWU down at the Marlboro Hamfest on Saturday morning......I made
the mistake of listening to the new hotspot of bad ham ops on
3860 last night. What a pack of nitwits, some from the 7200 shit
show. It amazes me the amount of hams who jam and swear obscenities
at each other and actually have a following of like minded idiots.
Grown men (?) have spent thousands of dollars to hide behind a
microphone and play tough guy and threaten each other. These are the
guys who would never dare show up at a hamfest and identify
themselves...Ham Radio adventures....
In Florida, Bob-KC1BBU was mobile hamming and fishing and meanwhile
M.ike- N1XW enjoyed an air event at Alton Bay, NH on Sunday...planes landing
on the lake.....
The only radio ham in Taiwan for 25 years
Tim Chen BV2A was famous among amateur radio
enthusiasts as the only person allowed to operate in Taiwan until
1985, when the government started issuing more licenses
The Tapei Times reports:
Until 1985, Taiwan’s amateur (ham) radio scene consisted of one
person: Tim Chen ( 陳實忻 ), who held the country’s only license due to
Martial Law era restrictions. According to a Liberty Times (the
sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) report, this resulted in the
unusual situation where Taiwan Garrison Command had to establish a
set of amateur radio regulations just for him.
Since there was nobody else in Taiwan to talk to, Chen connected
with people around the world, using Morse code at first via his
station BV2A, and gaining voice communication capabilities in 1974
through BV2B. Chen was strictly forbidden to speak with anyone in
China or the Soviet Union, but he enjoyed much popularity as the
world’s only BV (Taiwan’s country code) station operator — so much
so that US senator and fellow ham enthusiast Barry Goldwater
K7UGA specifically requested to tour Chen’s two stations
when he visited Taiwan in 1986.
Read the full Taipei Times story at
Build your own Space Weather dashboard
Dear HAM friend
For the Ham Radio community I wrote an article on how to build
your own Space Weather Dashboard with NOAA data. The article is
Title: Build your own Space Weather dashboard
Author: Jan, PA2P
Subject: The article is about how to design your own
gauges and charts with Space Weather data from NOAA for your own
website, instead of using the existing dashboards.
Date: Published February 17th, 2019
FCC: Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity
Procedures are Now in Effect
The FCC is reminding electronic device retailers that Supplier’s
Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) procedures are now in effect
and being enforced. In an FCC Enforcement Advisory
released February 15, the FCC Enforcement Bureau (EB) pointed
out that marketers of RF devices may be subject to new
compliance requirements provided in the SDoC procedures.
general, a device subject to SDoC is one that does not purposely
transmit an RF signal for communications purposes, i.e., it does
not send voice and/or data to a wireless receiver,” the
Advisory said. Such devices are known as “unintentional
radiators,” and most devices subject to SDoC are described in
Sections 15.101(1) and 18.203 of the FCC rules.
Two separate procedures are in place to address equipment
authorization of RF devices — SDoC and Certification. In July of
2017, the FCC amended some rules regarding the authorization of
RF equipment, and those changes became effective in November of
that year, with a 1-year transition period to phase out two
equipment authorization procedures — Verification and
Declaration of Conformity — and replace them with SDoC. The
transition period ended on November 2, 2018.
According to the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET),
the list of devices subject to SDoC covers “equipment that does
not contain a radio transmitter and contains only digital
circuitry — such as computer peripherals, microwave ovens, ISM
[Industrial Scientific Medical] equipment, switching power
supplies, LED light bulbs, radio receivers, and TV interface
devices.” The OET said for equipment that contains both
unintentional radiators and intentional radiators, the
unintentional radiator portion generally may be authorized under
either SDoC or certification, while intentional radiators such
as radio transmitters, contained in the equipment are typically
required to be certified. The OET notes, “Some unintentional
radiators do require certification, such as scanning receivers,
radar detectors, and access broadband over power line (Access
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big
motor home, electronics software
Neil...Living large traveling
the country with his
Igor....peddles quality Russian
keys, software engineer
cars and radio gear, nice fella...
going, Harley riding kind of
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can
be found at most ham flea market
...Cobra Antenna builder..
Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who
cooks on the side at
of the Hosstrader's original
organizers, 75 meter regular,
Roger....75 meter regular, easy
going guy, loves to split
cordwood and hunt...
Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Barry- the picture says it all,
he loves food!
Bob....the Mud Duck from the
Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of
Matthew...75 meter regular...our
token liberal Democrat out of VT
meter Regular......residing on
the Cape of Cod, flying planes
and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the
future of mankind, it's scary!
of Davis-RF....my best friend
from high school
going ham found at all the ham
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go!
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream
shop, hard working man....
Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience
in all areas, once was a Jacques
Cousteus body guard....
Warren....3910 regular with
Bob, easy going, kind of
like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....